Sinus and Nasal Disorders
Annually, 24 million cases of sinusitis are diagnosed and the physicians at Northeast Georgia ENT evaluate and treat many patients for sinus and nasal complaints. It is important to distinguish sinus-related symptoms from nasal cavity-related symptoms so as to properly treat these symptoms.
Nasal Cavity Symptoms
The easiest way to think of the nasal cavities and sinuses is to visualize a hallway with bedrooms off the hallway. The nasal cavities, both right and left, represent this hallway. Typically, patients will complain of difficulties moving air through the nasal cavities. This can be the result of swelling in the lining of the nasal cavities, which occurs during viral infections (the common cold) or nasal allergies. Or, the nasal cavities can be blocked by a physical, anatomical obstruction, such as a deviated septum.
Therapy to treat inflammatory swelling of the nasal cavities most often requires proper selection of the correct intranasal anti-inflammatory medication or oral allergy medication. On the other hand, correction of an anatomical obstruction causing congestion typically requires surgical correction.
A patient can then think of the sinuses as bedrooms off the aforementioned hallway, and, as a result, have different symptoms than nasal cavity symptoms. Much like with treatment of nasal cavity symptoms, treatment of sinus symptoms, such as facial pain and pressure, colored nasal drainage, fevers, and headaches, can require medical or surgical therapy. But, first and foremost, sinus issues should be maximally treated with medical therapy. This includes full courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics, frequent irrigations with salt-solutions, medications to help clearance of nasal secretions, and intranasal anti-inflammatories. And, with some patients that have dealt with these symptoms for many months or years, this regimen has to be repeated multiple times before the patient’s symptoms resolve.
When to Consider Sinus Surgery
Only when this comprehensive treatment has failed on multiple occasions, should sinus surgery be addressed. At that time, the patient and otolaryngologist can have an in-depth discussion on the risks and benefits of endoscopic sinus surgery, and whether it is a good option for that patient. As well, in-office balloon sinuplasty may be an option to correct this disorder.
Get Relief for Sinus Symptoms
If you are a patient that requires balloon sinuplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery, rest assured that the surgeons at Northeast Georgia ENT have been trained in the most up-to-date surgical procedures and use the safest technologies to ensure that surgical patients get the best and safest outcomes. Contact us today to learn more.